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Prevention Presents: Healthy Relationships

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Healthy Relationships
Ashley Rodebaugh, M.A.
Prevention Education Specialist

If I asked you to imagine your ideal partner, most of you may not even think about your partner’s ability to stay calm when angered and not lash out at you physically or emotionally.  A healthy relationship includes many things, but the thing of utmost importance is that your partner will not physically harm you, ever.  Not when they are drinking, not when you have upset them, and not when they are just having a bad day.  No one deserves to be beaten, ever.  However, women and men in unhealthy relationships often think that they can keep from being abused if they just keep quiet, do what they are told, never anger their partner, and, if and when they mess up, that they deserve the abuse.  None of this is true.  An abuser needs help learning to control their anger, and the victim needs help learning that they are good enough, and that they deserve better.

Wondering whether or not a relationship is unhealthy or not? Consult this relationship spectrum from The National Domestic Violence Hotline: http://www.thehotline.org/healthy-relationships/relationship-spectrum/

People who are abused often stay in a relationship because they feel alone or that they have no one to help them.  What can you do to help a friend or a loved one that you know is in an unhealthy relationship? First and foremost, never ignore their outcries for help or the red flags you may notice in their relationships! You can help by: 

  • Making sure they are safe
  • Letting them know that they do NOT deserve to be abused.
  •  Asking them questions to get them to think about their problem
    • Why do you think he/she gets so jealous?
    • Do you think he/she has right to decide who your friends are and how you should act around them?
    •  How does the abuse make you feel?
    • Does he/ she make you feel good about yourself?
    •  Are you afraid of him/her when he/she is angry?
  •  Letting them know that abuse almost always get worse in a relationship if it is just ignored.  The only way to make it stop is for the victim to be willing to take actions to make it end.
  • Encourage them to seek help.
  • Never be judgmental of their partner or the situation.  This may make them shut down and be less likely to seek help from you in the future.

It's important to discuss relationships with your teens. Talk about what a healthy relationship should look like, and what to do if they feel unsafe in a relationship. People define relationships in many different ways, but for a relationship to be healthy you need:

  • Safe communication
  • Trust
  • Boundaries
  • Mutual respect

If you or a loved one is being abused, realize you are NOT ALONE! Each year in Ohio, 88,000-115,000 adults report that they are physically abused by an intimate partner. Similarly, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their life time.  ONE IS TOO MANY!

Additonal Resources:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: www.thehotline.org or call 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233). TTY available at 1-800-787-3224

Want to know more about domestic violence? www.safehorizons.orgwww.thatsnotlove.org, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence at www.ncadv.org 

Domestic Violence Shelter: www.domesticshelters.org and www.womenslaw.org


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Bullying vs Hazing: 
Is there a difference?
Ashley Rodebaugh, M.A., LSC
Prevention Educator



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